Ombudswoman Maria Stylianou-Lottides emphasised on Thursday that Kurdish activist Kenan Ayaz has the right to undergo a medical review from a doctor of his choice – ahead of his extradition to Germany, set for Friday.
Ayaz was arrested in March on a European warrant issued by Germany, which is seeking his extradition on terrorism charges.
Ayaz’s lawyer Efstathios Efstathiou wrote to the ombudswoman warning that his client’s health requires urgent evaluation, with his condition having worsened because of his 15-day hunger strike – which has since ended.
Speaking to the Cyprus Mail, Efstathiou warned that his client’s health is at serious risk, and this would be greatly exacerbated if he is extradited to Germany, where he will be placed in a high-security prison.
Esftathiou also told media that he has written to the European Court of Human Rights (Ehcr) about his client’s right to be examined by a physician of his own choice.
In the letter, the lawyer argues that Cypriot authorities’ refusal to permit this constitutes a violation of his client’s rights.
Reports said the Echr could respond to the lawyer’s letter within 24 hours.
Ayaz was initially set to be extradited earlier this month but the move was postponed due to his ill health, which Lottides emphasised is in line with rulings from the European Court of Human Rights.
She further cited Frontex’s code of conduct which states that those being extradited must be fit to travel, adding that a person with known health conditions or who requires medical assistance must be evaluated by a doctor.
After the Larnaca court agreed to Ayaz’s extradition the case was taken to the Supreme Court which also ruled he should be extradited. Prosecution authorities stressed that the extradition should not lead to his further removal to other countries, meaning Turkey.
His lawyers also lodged a case at the European Court of Human Rights, which said it would only intervene if it appeared Ayaz was to be sent outside Germany.
A protest in support of Ayaz took place on Thursday afternoon outside the central prisons in Nicosia. Organised by the ‘Theofilos’ group, it was attended by a number of MPs.
In a statement, the ‘Theofilos’ group expressed its “disappointment and outrage” at Cypriot authorities, whom they accused of “colluding” with German law enforcement.
German authorities, they added, have not furnished convincing proof that Ayaz will not be handed over to Turkey.